When is the Right Time to Start Orthodontic Treatment?

If you’re considering orthodontic treatment for your child, you may be wondering, “When is the best time to get started?” After all, you don’t want to interrupt the normal development of his or her teeth. Another question that often arises is, “Is it ever too late to undergo orthodontic treatment?” As you continue reading, an orthodontist in West Brookfield discusses the factors that should be taken into consideration and sheds light on when is the best time to start bite correction.

It Starts with an Evaluation

As a general rule of thumb, it’s a good idea for your child to undergo an orthodontic evaluation by the age of seven. The overall goal of the assessment is to make sure that he or she has a functional bite, which is a combination of correct tooth alignment and jaw position. When the two components are harmonized, there is a better chance for better oral and overall health. Furthermore, they help to create an attractive smile.

Here are some specific benefits of having straight teeth:

  • It allows for clear speech.
  • It’s easier to bite, chew and digest food.
  • There are emotional benefits of having nice looking teeth.
  • Straight teeth are less prone to decay and injury, and they decrease the chances of developing gum disease.

When is the Right Time for Treatment?

Typically, treatment with dental braces should begin when a child has lost most of his or her baby (primary) teeth, and a majority of the adult teeth have grown in. This usually occurs between the ages of eight and 14. The approach isn’t set in stone, as orthodontists ultimately customize care on an individual basis.

Here are two ways that bite correction can be addressed:

  • Interceptive Approach – With this method, the orthodontist will look to take advantage of your child’s growth to start bite correction earlier than normal. This can involve using dental appliances other than braces, while your little one still has most of his or her baby teeth. Then, when most of the adult teeth erupt, dental braces can be placed.
  • Traditional Treatment – The other option is to take the traditional approach, as some orthodontists caution that the two-phase method increases treatment time and the out-of-pocket cost.

Braces aren’t Just for Children

It’s important to know that there is no fixed timeframe to receive orthodontic treatment. Your local orthodontist can customize the perfect plan for patients of any age. All that is necessary is to receive an initial examination to determine the extent of the bite correction you need. So whether you’re considering orthodontics for your child or yourself, the window is open to achieve a healthy, functional and attractive smile with the help of braces in West Brookfield!

About the Author

Dr. Sam Alkhoury earned his dental degree from Boston University. He then went on to complete a residency in Advanced Education in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics at the renowned New York University. A member of the American Association of Orthodontists, Dr. Alkhoury has been providing top-notch orthodontic care for nearly 30 years. He corrects bites of patients of all ages at West Brookfield Dental, and he can be reached for more information through his website.


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